Q&A: Matt Taylor (Cycling Sheffield)

2019 was a success for Matt Taylor who races for Cycling Sheffield in 2020 whose 2019 highlight was mixing it with the best in the classic Otley Grand Prix

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Q&A: Matt Taylor (Cycling Sheffield)
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2019 – a success or could do better?
Matt: A success, I achieved most of my goals.

– What was the highlight of the 2019 season for you?
Matt: Racing the Otley GP elite race in front of so many people I knew. It was my first time in the elites there and I was mixing it up near the front for most of it and to see myself on TV after was pretty cool.

– What was the most fun/enjoyable race in 2019?
Matt: I did Mountain Mayhem which is a 24 hour mountain bike race in a group of five. We won overall but we all went through some dark moments that night to get to the finish. It was so unenjoyable that I actually enjoyed it.

– What was the toughest race in 2019 and why?
Matt: Ryedale GP for sure, it was my first ever prem so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It was so hard.

– What’s the hardest thing about British racing?
Matt: The grippy roads along with the fact that its usually full gas from start to finish.

– Do you think next year the racing will be more open with less UCI teams?
Matt: Yeah, I think it gives the elite teams a bigger chance to get stuck in and have a go at shaping the race.

– Are you missing the racing yet?
Matt: Not really, I’m in the middle of a cyclocross season but I will be once that finishes – I miss the warm weather!

– Most annoying things you see riders do in the peloton …
Matt: Shouting attack when someone is attacking. Everyone can clearly see someone is attacking, we don’t need someone telling us there’s an attack so other people close it down because those shouting don’t want to do that themselves.

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– Most impressive rider in the British peloton in 2019
Matt: Damien Clayton – he went from winning a few local Nat B’s to mixing it up in most prems and joining Ribble halfway through the season. I think he may have got one or two podiums as well.

– Hardest part of the race is?
Matt: The middle – when it’s easy to switch off and you find yourself in a bad position and the race kicks off again – it’s far enough in to start hurting but you know you still have a way to go until it kicks off again for the finish.

– Is there anything you would change about the British calendar on the road?
Matt: I haven’t done a full national calendar yet so I can’t really comment on that – from where I live, the races are pretty equally spaced out around the country with a few big local ones which is a bonus location wise.

– Favourite piece of your Bioracer kit?
Matt: I haven’t used it yet but I’m looking forward to using the race rain cape that a fair few riders used in the world champs.

– The most used item of Bioracer Kit?
Matt: The tempest arm warmers, such a versatile piece of kit.

– Best thing about being in an Elite team…
Matt: The opportunities it gives you along with the experience throughout the team especially with the manager that you can use yourself in not only races but training as well.

– Favourite training route?
Matt: Ring of Fire, it’s based round me in West Yorkshire and it goes over the Strines, Snake Pass and Holme Moss – it’s pretty lengthy and rolling.

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– Its raining – Do you get out there or get the turbo out?
Matt: Get out there unless the morale is a bit lower than usual and its a shorter ride then I’ll do the session on the turbo – I don’t mind it.

– When does the serious training begin this winter?
Matt: Straight after my short rest after the road season, ready for the cyclocross season. Training is pretty much full on all year round unless I’m in a rest period between seasons.

– Is your winter training structured the whole time or a mix of riding the bike easy and then getting serious with top end work?
Matt: Due to the cyclocross season there’s a lot of top end work but now I have more time mid week, I try to get some endurance in there as well so a mixture of both.

– Do you train alone or is there a chain gang in your area?
Matt: There’s always some lads from my area to ride with but I do enjoy getting out on my own and focusing on the session and efforts set.

– Finally, what races in 2020 are ones you really want to work towards being part of.
Matt: Cicle Classic for sure, I think it suits me with the cyclocross background pretty well. I also want to do well in the crit races as I enjoyed doing the elite crits this year and the crits suit the type of rider I am.

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